Aslan and Me: My Story In This Story – More About C.S. Lewis

Here’s a story from C.S. Lewis that captured my attention yesterday. In its simplicity, there is a depth of revelation.

“Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion.
“I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill.
“Then drink,” said the Lion.
“May I-could I-would you mind going away while I do!” said Jill.
The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.

The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
“Will you promise not to-do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.
“I make no promise,” said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.

“Do you eat girls?” she said.
“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and me, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, not as if it was sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.

“They you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.
“Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer.
“I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”
“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.
(Lewis, The Silver Chair, 17.)

1093249228_9cfdce9b84_zAt times, I’m like Jill. Are you?

This story resonates with every fiber of my being. Seeking to know Jesus, there are times and seasons that He orchestrates the narrative of my life so intricately to bring me face to face with Him.

I thirst to drink deeply of His presence leading me to His stream of life. There it is – but there He is, seeming to block my way to the very place He leads me. I can’t get to the stream unless I surrender to a greater, larger, deeper, multifaceted revelation of who He is. Up close at this moment, He is quite different. A lion of power, majesty and might, He stirs fear in me on every level.

Why is that? Have I, all this time, imagined Jesus to be something less than who He really is? Does my paradigm of life create a Jesus that is agreeable to my own limited understanding? I know a kind Jesus, a loving Jesus. Yes, He is all those qualities and more. A lamb that was slain, meek and gentle.

But standing before me is not the lamb, but the lion. It is the lion that stirs this fear in me. A lion that presents Himself in an unwavering stance, immovable.

He is not who I expected.

My heart is laid bare as I must choose to trust and surrender to get to the source of my thirst. Is He withholding from me? Playing some great trick on me?

Here goes my back and forth dialogue with Him.

“Can I trust you to be gentle and kind as I draw near? You won’t hurt me, right?” I ask.

His answer is still the same. “I make no promise.”

What kind of God is this?

I want to go forward but I wait a bit in case He changes His mind and opens up another way for me. That doesn’t happen because there is no way around this in this season.

Have I not said that I wanted to know Him? How did I actually think that would work out? Did I believe that He would bend to the imaginings of my own heart? Did I desire a God fashioned in my own image?

I believe I wanted a lamb but at this moment there is a lion.

It is time to get past myself, my own illusions about Jesus, created in my own mind.

What is my choice standing in this place? I am not backed into a corner forced to make a decision. Forced love is really no love. I am free walk forward or free to turn and run. His love for me remains with either choice.

He created this path for me because I cried out for more. I can’t go back now.

He is not a tame lion. If I did not know His love, I may just run or faint but I will do neither. I will enter this path and face this revelation head on.

I will trust, surrender and obey. There is no other way.

Debra

In Christ,
Debra

Rivers of Eden Ministry

Hidden In Plain Sight – A Time of Preparation Amidst Provocation

Apart From MeTrying to force myself to be seen at the same time that God’s hand was holding me back me for a season is not wise. A growing inner tension within my being left me increasingly tired. But, it’s not me to quit without a fight. God was happy to oblige but the funny thing is that I was the only one fighting. Kind of like boxing into mid-air, wearing myself out along the way, while all the time God waited for me to give in and just rest in being hidden in plain sight.

Amidst the whining, the complaining and the fear, God could have given me what I wanted just to shut me up and to teach me some lessons, like a good Father does. Thank goodness, He just waited patiently as His child (me) wanted her own way in her own time. My continual cry:

“Oh God, release me, pleeeease! I can’t take it any more! I hurt. My heart hurts. What do you want from me?”

Lesson learned in hindsight: My sense of timing is never God’s sense of timing. In this season, I learned to walk in a daily learning curve where day by day, I simply rested in the perfection of His plan for me, His way.

One more thing.

These times of internal preparation while being hidden are also times of provocation by the enemy who loved to harass me. (God on one hand placing me in obscurity and the enemy on the other, continually harassing me.) He loved to tell me that my life was being wasted and forgotten. He maligned the character of God and then had the audacity to wait for me to agree with him.

His accusations:
God can’t be trusted.
God has left you in this place to rot.
You can’t cut it and have been disqualified.

It’s the same old garden trick: “Has God indeed said?” (Adam, Eve, the snake – Genesis. Read it. It’s good.)

Flustered, totally frustrated, whining, crying, shouting, I was worn out, and sick of myself. What now? How could I believe that God, who I thought I knew, would place me in this painful season? Is this love? My accusations hit a crescendo. I leveled all kinds of charges at God for a while. And, when I was not accusing Him, I walked in a void, unable to see His hand in all of this hiddenness. I truly believed that somehow, in some way, God failed me.

Being hidden in plain sight was indeed a time of provocation but it was also a time of preparation. My hiddenness had a purpose but I failed to see it from heaven’s perspective. How could I when I was accusing God of not knowing what was best for me? The revelation began to unfold and then here comes this blog topic, which I continue to explore. God’s ways are not our ways; they are so much better but not always easily understood, at least not for me and definitely not in a place of being hidden in plain sight.

I repented (complete change of mind, change of heart to see and to know). I fell for the enemy’s line: “Has God indeed said?” (The ultimate accusation spoken by the snake in the Garden. It still works today for many of us.)

What went wrong? Thinking God’s ways were my ways. Not truly understanding Him, knowing Him. My being hidden in plain sight had a purpose, yet I failed to actually see it through an eternal perspective.

At that place of total submission in the midst of not truly understanding, God says, “Are you done yet?”
And I say, “I’m done.” I look at Him, sheepishly and somewhat askew. “Am I still hidden?”

And He says, “Yes.”

And I say, “Okay. But…….”

He interrupts my need to know and says, “I love you. You may not understand this now, but it’s good for you. Trust me.”

DebraIn Christ,
Debra

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Some Great Quotes

QuoteHere are some great quotes challenging my growth in Christ. They comfort and assure me, challenge and confront me, and most of all let me know God is in control, even if I don’t understand it all at this time.

“You can’t have authority over what you don’t love.” Shawn Bolz

“Become a safe place for the supernatural to happen in people’s lives.” Shawn Bolz

“2014 – Restoration of the method, the message and the messenger.” James Goll

“Prophecy is high-tech love.” Shawn Bolz

“Faith and hope work together. Hope is the seed bed that faith grows in.”  Kris Vallotton

“Hope feels, faith sees.” Kris Vallotton

And here’s mine:

In Christ, Debra Westbrook

DebraPlease pray and consider having Rivers of Eden minister in your gathering, home group, conference or church in 2014. This is our year of release wherever and whenever God opens His doors bringing His grace and His glory through us to those to whom we are called in this season. Feel Free to contact us on Facebook, Twitter.